English हिन्दी
Connect with us

Bihar election 2020

Despite Supreme Court order on criminal candidates, Bihar Phase 1 elections will see 328 contesting



By Sambhav Sharma

Bihar will be voting in the first phase of elections on October 28 under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic with new protocols to follow before casting the ballot. But Bihar’s notorious and perennial problem of legislators with criminal records continue.

Of the 1,064 candidates, who are contesting in the first phase, 328 candidates, that is 31 percent, have declared themselves that they have criminal cases against them and 244 that is 23 percent have declared serious criminal cases against them.

This fact and many others have come out in the joint report of the Bihar Election Watch (BEW) and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Of the 328 candidates with criminal records, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has the highest number of 30, the BJP has 21, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has 24 the Congress has 12, the Janata Dal (United) has 15 and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has 8.

A better picture emerges if one looks at the candidates with declared criminal cases against the total candidates from the respective parties. The RJD has 73 percent criminal candidates in the first phase, the BJP has 72 percent criminal candidates, the LJP has 59 percent, the Congress 57 percent, the JD(U) 43 percent, and the BSP 31 percent criminal candidates.

Supreme Court on Criminalisation of Politics

It is again moot to note that just this February, the Supreme Court directed political parties to state reasons for the selection of candidates with pending criminal cases by posting them on their websites. The bench of Justice RF Nariman and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat asked the parties to also list why they could not select other candidates without criminal antecedents.

If a political party fails to comply with the order’s directions, it would be seen as being in contempt of the court order. While this was expected to demotivate candidates with a criminal background to enter the fray, the data from BEW-ADR above indicates that it has not stopped parties. The ball, as directed by the Supreme Court’s February 2020 order, is very clearly in the Election Commission’s court.

National Election Fund: A way forward?

Former Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy said that making voters aware of candidates with criminal antecedents has its limitations. He said most leaders with criminal records enjoy the judicial delay and adversely contribute to democracy. “Such people continue to use their muscle power to overrule the voice of the people. Political parties seem to be less serious about it,” he said.

Krishnamurthy suggested that candidates, who have been chargesheeted six months before the polls, could be suspended, albeit temporarily, from contesting the election if they are found to have indulged in serious offences. He also said money power should also be curbed from influencing elections.

“We need to have a National Election Fund with a corpus for 10 years where corporates can contribute money for which are given a 100 percent tax exemptions. This is how publically funded polls could be contested and even a poor man can independently contest. We need to reduce the money and muscle power from polls to breed good quality democracy in India,” he said.

Caveat Voter

Former Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath emphasised putting the information in the public domain so that voters can make a better choice. The system, the courts, the Election Commission, all want the criminal elements don’t get encouragement to come to power, he added.  

There are two ways in which candidates with criminal background can be barred or discouraged. One is through legislation but for whatever reason, the legislation has not been made. In the absence of legislation, the next best way is to inform the people of candidates with criminal background.

Banaras Hindu University’s Political Science department Professor Sanjay Srivastava said the chance of a candidate with criminal background winning the polls is more in the first-past-the-post system than in proportional representation and other systems. “The corruption in politics is more dangerous than the criminalisation of politics. The MLAs/MPs who have corruption charges or are involved in the graft are more dangerous for a democracy than petty or major criminals,” he said.

The way forward would be to let voters decide whom they want to choose and the government ensures a free and fair decision, said Prof Srivastava.

A tall ask for the Election Commission?

It is mandatory for political parties at the Central and state level to upload on their website detailed information regarding candidates with pending criminal cases including nature of the offences. Political parties will also have to give reasons for such selection and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.

If a political party fails to submit such a compliance report with the Election Commission, the Election Commission shall bring such non-compliance by the political party concerned to the notice of the Supreme Court as being in contempt of the court orders/directions.

Read Supreme Court order

Bihar election 2020

Congress Bihar leader Akhilesh Prasad says he will speak to Rahul Gandhi on poll mistakes

Major changes are needed at the organisation level for winning any state election, Singh said. He said he had sought an appointment with Rahul Gandhi to discuss the way ahead.



incharge bihar congress

Congress Bihar campaign in-charge Akhilesh Prasad Singh on Thursday broke his silence on the party’s disappointing performance in the Assembly elections. Taking responsibility for the defeat in Bihar, he said the biggest mistake was to contest from the wrong seats. He said he will tell former president Rahul Gnadhi that there is a need to tackle weaknesses in the organisation and make it sharper.

Major changes are needed at the organisation level for winning any state election, Singh said. He said he had sought an appointment with Rahul Gandhi to discuss the way ahead. He told NDTV that the Congress took a hasty decision eventually on the seats. There were weaknesses in the party, especially at the state, district and block levels, he said.

This is the latest statement of a senior leader in the midst of a meltdown within the Congress after being blamed for the Mahagathbandhan’s so-near-yet-so-far loss in Bihar. On the statement of Kapil Sibal, Akhilesh Prasad Singh said he respected Sibal but this kind of analysis was not good after the defeat.

The ruckus within the party had started after Kapil Sibal called for experienced minds, experienced hands and those who understand political realities for reviving the party from visible decline. He had also demanded some major organisational changes in party. P Chidambaram, another senior Congress leader, had said the results in Bihar and bypolls elsewhere showed the Congress had no organisational presence left on the ground. He had also pointed out that the Congress had contested much more seats than its organisational strength could do justice to.

Also Read: Rakul Preet Singh to play pilot in Ajay Devgn-Amitabh Bachchan starrer Mayday

After Bihar assembly election and Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and UP bypolls, the pundits along with some Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan had blamed the Congress for not pulling its weight in the alliance.

Continue Reading

Bihar election 2020

In Nitish Kumar cabinet, new Deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad gets Finance and IT, other Deputy Renu Devi gets Panchayati Raj

New Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad has got finance, environment, urban development and information technology while the second Deputy CM Renu Devi got Panchayati Raj, Backward Caste Upliftment and Industry portfolios.



nitish with tarkishore

At the age of 69, Nitish Kumar has become the longest-serving Chief Minister of Bihar after winning the election to the 243-member Bihar Assembly. Kumar has kept home, general administration, vigilance and three more departments for himself. New Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad has got finance, environment, urban development and information technology while the second Deputy CM Renu Devi got Panchayati Raj, Backward Caste Upliftment and Industry portfolios.

Mukesh Sahni, the only leader of the Vikassheel Insaan Party, has been given the Animal Husbandry and Fishery portfolio and BJP senior leader Mangal Pandey has retained the Health ministry. Pandey has also been the Bihar BJP president from 2013 to 2017. Bijendra Yadav has got Planning, Food, and Consumer Affairs in the new Nitish Kumar cabinet.

Former Assembly Speaker and JDU leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary got the charge of rural engineering, rural development, water resources, parliamentary affairs, and information and public relations. Mewalal Choudhary will be the new education minister while Sheela Kumari has been allocated the transport ministry.

Jibesh Kumar, who defeated Maskoor Ahmad Usmani by a massive margin from Jale constituency, has been given charge of tourism, mines and labour. Santosh Kumar Suman, the son of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, has been given the minor irrigation and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe welfare portfolios, Surat Rai will be the new revenue and law minister of the state.

BJP’s Amrendra Pratap Singh will handle agriculture, cooperatives, and sugarcane departments, and Rampreet Paswan will be the new public health engineering minister.

Also Read: PM Modi-Joe Biden reiterate commitment to strategic India-US ties in first phone call

Nitish Kumar on Monday took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the fourth consecutive term after edging out the Mahagathbandan in the election to the 243-member Bihar Assembly. The National Democratic Alliance of the BJP, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular and Mukesh Sahni’s Vikashsheel Insaan Party secured 125 seats. With 74 winning seats, the BJP got an upper hand in the state for teh first time ever while the JDU tally shrunk to 43 from 71 seats earlier, marking its worst performance since the 2005 Assembly polls. NDA allies VIP and HAM(S) secured four seats each. The RJD emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats while the Congress won just 19 of the 70 seats it contested on and 16 seats were won by the Left parties who contested 29 seats.

Continue Reading

Bihar election 2020

Nitish Kumar back in Bihar saddle with 2 new deputy CMs



Nitish Kumar took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth straight term on Monday in the presence of BJP senior leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah, party chief JP Nadda and former chief minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis. The leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan boycotted the ceremony, claiming the mandate in the elections was against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and that it had been changed by fraud.

BJP’s Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi took oath as Kumar’s new deputies, instead of old, trusted Sushil Modi. Hours after Nitish Kumar’s oath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated him and said the NDA family will work together in Bihar.

On the midnight of November 10, the NDA achieved the majority by winning 125 seats in Bihar’s 243-member House, three above the halfway mark. By winning 74 seats in the 2020 Bihar Assembly election, the BJP gained the upper hand in the alliance from the JDU, which won just 43 seats and became the junior ally. The RJD emerged as the single largest party of Bihar with 76 seats.  Observers credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal popularity for the NDA’s victory.  

Political pundits and the people of Bihar expected Sushil Modi as his deputy but the speculation is that the BJP is promoting Sushil Modi to a role at the central level. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, after the oath-taking ceremony, told the media that the BJP needs to be asked why Sushil Modi was not chosen as the deputy CM of Bihar again.

Sushil Modi said the NDA has once again formed the government in the state based on the people’s decision. It is the decision of the BJP to not field Sushil Modi as the Deputy Chief Minister. He said the party needs to be asked why he wasn’t allowed to contest elections.

Continue Reading



© Copyright 2022 APNLIVE.com